Peter Souza, the former Chief Official White House photographer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, stated that Joe Biden is one of the most compassionate men he has ever met.

Perhaps that is one reason so many people were filled with emotion and even shed tears watching the presidential inauguration.

Past presidents of both parties, although imperfect human beings as we all are, have been individuals our children could look up to. Graciousness and decency were on display during the concession speeches of Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton.

Above all, they prioritized what was best for the nation and focused on what makes for a peaceful transition of power. Mean spiritedness has been replaced with Biden's compassion for others and his promise to serve and work for every citizen, whether they voted for him or not.

His invitation to leaders of both parties to join him in church prior to the inauguration signaled, "Let's come together to pray for peace and unity, that the highest good may be realized for all our people."

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Instead of appeasing the wealthiest among us, this new president's focus is on those who are struggling.

His empathy and concern for those who have suffered especially during this past year is refreshing and real. He will promote policies that honor and protect the earth and environment.

In every presidential election, there is understandable disappointment in those who voted for another candidate. We have all been there, but we also know that no good-hearted person thinks violence or vitriol is the way to heal and unify our great nation.

To quote a person we all admire and many consider the most divine of beings, according to Luke 19:42: Jesus wept and said, “If only you knew ... the things that lead to peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes."

Let's make a commitment anew to rediscover the things that make for peace with open eyes and open hearts, as we begin a new chapter in our country's history.

Ginger Beck

Glenwood